As season opens, I feel very blessed

Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

Tamika Catchings knows the defending champion Fever will have a target on their backs.

When I was asked to write this blog, my first thought was: "How and when am I going to get this done?" It has been a busy week for the Indiana Fever, and me, as we get ready to begin our season on Friday.

But when I sit back to reflect on my thoughts, I guess the best thing to convey is that I have been so very blessed in my life and this week is really a reflection of all of it.

It is WNBA Cares Week and, for me, that coincides with one of our biggest events of the year for my Catch The Stars Foundation. On Wednesday night, we hosted our annual scholar-athlete reception in which we gave away scholarship money to deserving Central Indiana high school scholar-athletes. All of our recipients are so deserving, and humble and thankful. And it just makes me feel so good every time our foundation has the chance to do something like this in our community.

The Catch The Stars Foundation has been alive since 2004 and we have grown in our programs and donations each and every year. It’s humbling to be able to lend a hand as we do, and it’s exciting every time we can make a big gift to make someone’s life better. It’s the same feeling we get during our clinics and camps and other events --- every time you can put a smile on someone’s face, you receive as much as you give. It sounds corny, maybe, but it’s true.

It is kind of surreal to think we’re starting a new season already. We know that the Fever has a target on its back this season as defending champs, but that is something that was earned last year and obviously something I’d never give back!

Winning that championship in October was something I’d waited for my whole life. But you know, leaders and champions aren’t made by looking back on past accomplishments. The only goal ahead of me and my teammates is to win on Friday night and pursue the same excellence we achieved in 2012. We’ll only win if we continue improving because everybody in our league is not only out to take our trophy, but they’ve gotten better. Our league is always getting better. We won’t win again unless we get better ourselves.

And I guess that’s the way I look at our foundation, too. We’ve done some nice things and I’m so proud of our staff and volunteers and sponsors for last night’s event. But so many people still need our help -- whether it’s giving kids in our community the chances they might not otherwise have; or helping the handicapped or disabled or elderly; or even those struck by tragedy like those in Oklahoma last week. We have to always get better.

-- Tamika Catchings